“… Responding to the decision, Judith Blake, the LGA’s environment spokesperson, said it should be for local communities to decide, through their locally democratic planning systems, whether to host fracking operations in their areas.
“Ensuring communities feel safe is important. Any company that applies for a fracking licence must assure residents through their council that environment and safety concerns can and will be adequately addressed before planning permission is considered,” she said.
“People living near fracking sites, who are most affected by them, have a right to be heard. Local planning procedure exists for a reason – to ensure a thorough and detailed consultation with those communities.”
Lancashire County Council highlighted this was one of the biggest planning applications ever put before any council, with tens of thousands of responses and substantial amounts of technical detail.
Council cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services Marcus Johnstone said authority’s development control committee carefully considered many hours of evidence both for and against the proposal.
“A local council, made up of councillors democratically elected by local people, and charged with serving their interests, is exactly the right body to make decisions on local matters. It is clear that the government supports the development of a shale gas industry, but I would ask them to do more to address the concerns of local communities and the councillors who represent them by supporting the best environmental controls,” he stated.”